Yesterday marked 14 days straight of writing for me. I have listened to writers and writing magazines and blogs tout the benefits and importance of writing every day. I listen to Mur Lafferty‘s podcast*, “I Should Be Writing.” I have always agreed with them, but I have never been able to find the time to do it. I finally signed up for the February Challenge on 750words.com and have stuck with it. It’s not because I suddenly “found” the time to write. It’s because I created the time to write. I promised myself to write a minimum of 750 words every single day this month, including weekends and holidays, sick days and days out of the house. Every single day. And I have remained on track because I don’t try to find time to write, I just write.
I get up in the morning and write first thing if I can. If I can’t, I either write while M. is napping, or after dinner. If I haven’t done my writing by 9 p.m., I have promised myself that I will drop what I am doing, no matter what it is, and do my writing. Because generally what I’m doing at 9 p.m. is throwing in one more load of laundry, or watching TV, or playing pointless yet brainsucking games on my iPod. I am almost never doing anything important enough that it should come before writing.
Finding time is usually a crock. If you try to “find” time, it implies that every minute of your day is taken up with activities so valuable that you have to search long and hard to unearth a few precious extra minutes somewhere so you can do what you want. How many of us are actually that important? I know I’m not! I have a husband, a house, three children, three cats and lots to do. I still don’t have so much to do that I am using every minute of every day to its fullest. I have plenty of time, I don’t need to find it. I just need to stop wasting it.
So that’s what I’ve done, or at least it’s what I’m trying to do. I’m still working on balancing finding work, writing, learning how to write, and editing my writing with keeping my house at least clean enough that we wouldn’t fail a health inspection and we have enough clean dishes to eat dinner. But that’s another post for another day.
What are you doing that is using up time when you could be writing, or crafting, or doing whatever it is that you want to do for you–not for your husband or kids or dog, just for yourself? I can guarantee that whatever that thing that you want to do is, it’s not “I really want to watch more TV,” or “If only I could spend MORE time online!” What’s keeping you from doing it?
Don’t find the time for it, make the time for it. Or better yet, take the time back. Something is stealing it from you. Take it back.
*Find “I Should Be Writing” and all other Mur-related news at the Murverse. If you’re a writer or a podcaster and don’t know who she is, you should.